February 3, 2017

A few days in

Calgary HANDS Team:

Rod writing from the front lines on what could be considered a dialup internet connection from the 80’s. At this point 300bps would be welcomed.

It’s been a couple hot, sweaty, yet productive days. The concrete continues to fall as select areas of the walls and roof are removed for the renovations. Unfortunately, unlike typical cinder block walls these things are filled solid with variations of cement. Gratefully even the school kids are pitching in. In the picture, you can see Wesley stepping in to take a turn at busting out some of the solid concrete with a mini sledge. The mini sledge was the biggest of the hammers we had onsite to take down several large chunks of wall. But while being hot and sticky there was always time to get in a few games with the kids, whether it be baseball or basketball they were all eager to play the two giants. Tim is currently doing his best to round the bases, inside the small school courtyard, hoping that he doesn’t get tagged with the homemade baseball made of used drinking boxes. Not only do these kids like to play but if they don’t have what they want they make it. We see them making balls constantly out of items we would consider garbage, and then we watch as school ends and the homemade garbage kites fly about the city.

The women are shown in the middle photo hauling hundreds of buckets, of broken concrete, down to the street and starting yet another pile on the sidewalk to contain it all. The best way to get it down the stairs and out of the school yard was a good “old fashioned” bucket brigade. What you don’t see here are all the times the kids were jockeying for a position in the brigade line to lend a helping hand.

On the streets, you can see Sid and Laura enjoying some time outside the school as Ronny takes the group for a short cultural tour around a couple blocks of the city, showing us the sites, touring us through the street markets and stopping at a local store to get salsa for a snack.

The bottom photo shows the cribbing for the new concrete ceilings starting to be completed. It’s a welcome change for the team after all the carpenter ants we relocated inside the old ceiling joists. And while it’s not what we would see back home it’s amazing to see what these guys can do with the tools they have on site. Water levels are being used constantly, there is never a scrap of wood that goes to waste and there isn’t a power tools anywhere. I doubt that any of this would get past the inspectors in Canada but somehow here it works.





Feb 3, 2017 at 10:28 pm

Looks like lots of hard work happening. Looking forward to coming on Feb 20 enjoy the rest of your time there, God bless you all

Feb 5, 2017 at 11:18 am

Appreciate the regular updates of your work! Maybe it's an inconvenience to have to write these updates, but thanks so much for keeping us involved in your lives in DR. God's blessings to you all!!

marja zwaagstra
Feb 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Enjoying your blog . Working hard and having fun. God bless

Leave a comment
Email address will
not be published
Required field.
Required, don't worry, it will not be published.
Please include a comment!
Keep in mind, all comments are public.